First observed in 2004 and recognized each April thereafter in the United States, National Financial Literacy Month was created in an effort to shine a light on good money-management habits — and to urge Americans to adopt them.
And here at Arthur State Bank, of course, we like to seize every opportunity we can to educate interested customers on ways to improve their financial health. So, throughout the month of April, we’ll be sharing various financial tips on our social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. (Be sure to follow us on your favorite social platforms for these and other regular financial insights!)
Further, to round up all of the month’s money-management tips in one convenient place, here’s a rundown of all the Financial Literacy Month 2023 insights we’ll be sharing on social media:
- Enroll in Automatic Bill Pay — Every consumer’s bill-payment history is a major component of his or her credit score. And when a payment is missed, the negative impacts can be long-lasting. So, by signing up for automatic bill pay — a typically free-of-charge service that sees recurring bills automatically paid, usually via a credit card or funds held in a checking account — consumers can lower their chances of missing a payment and protect their credit score. Such automatic payments are usually set up with the company set to receive recurring payments, such as those for a utility bill, credit card or mortgage. They can also often be set up using a checking account’s online bill pay feature.
- Start saving for retirement as early as possible — Nearly all of us want to retire comfortably, with enough money saved up so that we can pay the bills (and maybe even enjoy our leisure activities of choice) without major concern that we’ll run out of funds. And of course, the sooner we can get started saving, the bigger we can build up our retirement fund — especially when the power of compound interest is factored in. So, no matter what your age or what stage of your career you may be in, it’s never too soon to start saving for retirement.
Ready to start (or boost) your retirement savings today? Consider these 7 powerful ways to start building a retirement fund (or to boost your already-existing one).
- Automatically transfer a percentage of each of your paychecks to savings — To build up the amount of money you have in your savings account, consider setting up automatic transfers (typically moved from a checking account) that recur each time you get a paycheck. Thanks to the “out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon, the temptation to spend the money can be greatly reduced if it is automatically moved from checking to savings before you notice it’s there. And even if the amount you set up to be transferred each week, every other week or each month is a small one, it could add up to create significant savings over time, especially when stored away in a savings account that’s earning interest.
- Track your spending — By keeping a close eye on where your money goes each month, you can better identify any wasteful trends and tendencies that might be costing you a lot of money — and make moves to change them. This can be achieved the old-fashioned way by saving and reviewing receipts, or via any of the array of finance-related apps and software available in the digital age to help consumers track and evaluate their expenses. And when this is done, spotting and addressing even small recurring expenses can make a big difference. For example, a $5 spend at the coffee shop each workday may not seem like a lot. But when you notice that it’s adding up to $100 or more each month — money that you could be putting away in savings or devoting to more important priorities — it might spur you to brew your own coffee most days. A better approach might be to treat yourself to a splurge at the coffee shop just once or twice a week — and generate substantial savings by doing so.
- Set specific, measurable financial goals — When you make moves to improve your financial health, they don’t have to be drastic. In fact, by setting and meeting specific, measurable financial goals — and ones that are (at least initially) relatively small and easy to achieve — you’ll build confidence in your financial responsibility and increase the likelihood of creating sustainable, long-lasting financial habits. So whether your goal is to build an emergency fund, save for college or boost your credit score, it could be beneficial to start small and measure your progress — and once your initial goal is achieved, work toward larger ones.
Proudly serving South Carolina since 1933, Arthur State Bank offers accounts and services to meet a variety of financial needs. To help you achieve all your financial goals, the bank offers in-person service as well as a range of convenient digital solutions. To learn how Arthur State Bank can help you with banking needs ranging from checking and savings to retirement accounts, mortgages, other personal loans and more, visit arthurstatebank.com.